Past Hikes
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Fairbanks Area Hiking Club. Aug.15, 1999, Birch Hill. Photo by Julie Coghill.Fairbanks Area Hiking Club. Aug.15, 1999, Birch Hill. Photo by Julie Coghill.Fairbanks Area Hiking Club. Aug.15, 1999, Birch Hill. Photo by Julie Coghill.

FAHC has some great outings and meetings, and sometimes we get members who are both photographers and sometimes even photogenic. Here are recaps and links with pictures and information about some of our hikes and other gatherings.

24 September 2004, Certificate of Appreciation to FAHC! The state park staff gave the hiking club a certificate of appreciation for their donation of $750.00 in 2004 at a luncheon on 9/24/2004. The donation led to the purchase of trail signs for the Granite Tors Trail. The new signs mark obscure sections of the trail above tree line. Hopefully that will cut down on some of the search and rescue operations that occur about every other year. Pictured from left to right are John Risser, club member, Anna Plager, Northern Region State Parks Director, Greg Selid, club member, and Larry Hall, club member. [Picture coming!]

4-5 September 2004, Rainbow Mountain Weekend. Rain and snow didn't stop a group of Fairbanks hikers, even though the trip was officially canceled.

14 August 2004, Circle – Fairbanks Historical Trail Hike. 2004 was the year of the forest fire, and many hikes had to be canceled. This is one that survived, a great walk along a historic trail northeast of Fairbanks.

29-30 May 2004, Granite Tors Backpack. The Tors always make for great hikes, particularly for the first backpack of the year.

13 June 2004, Wickersham Dome. With a gorgeous blue sky 27 of us (is that a record for a FAHC hike?) headed off on Sunday June 13 to hike up Wickersham Dome. Lots of flowers in bloom were observed: Tall Jacob's Ladder, Arctic Lupinek Galucous Gentian, Bog Rosemary, Wooly Lousewort, Moss Campion, Oeder's Lousewort, Arnica, Mountain Avens, Narcissus-Flowered Anemone, Dward Dogwood, and Parry's Wallflower (lavender and white). We stopped at the rock outcropping at about 3 1/2 mile (where the orange diamond trail marker is) and enjoyed lunch and the views with a slight breeze which kept the bugs off of us. After about an hour we noticed dark clouds in the distance and heard thunder on the way back, but got back before any rain hit us. Kathy Hodges, leader.

5 March 2003, Membership Meeting. Besides the usual business, we learned how to make ultra-lightweight stoves out of Pepsi cans. Boy, I love this club!

17 June 2002, Angel Rocks. Not an official club hike, but a couple of us went around the short loop during a lazy afternoon. If you haven't been out there since the fires this spring, it's worth a trip out. The whole personality of the trail is different, and all the more so for the full trip into the Hot Springs.

Summer 2002, Gulkana Glacier. Courtesy of Rita Gillitzer, some pictures around the area of Gulkana Glacier off the Richardson Highway.

September 2001, Kesugi Ridge. Eventful drive down, Lew sees a griz in the road near Denali National Park. Three people and one dog went down for the hike. The first evening we had some horizontal rain and hail just as we got above tree line. Lew then realizes that rushed packing jobs the night before may not have been a "good idea". Among the long list of items forgotten were tent stakes and toothbrush. After some creative use of trekking poles he got his tent up. The views and weather got better every day, but Denali was always partially obscured by clouds. Very Steep slippery decent down to Byers Lake to finish. That place could use some switchbacks.

7 September 2001, Angel Rocks to Chena Hot Springs. While some folks apparently stayed home today because of the drizzle in Fairbanks, the rest of us had a marvelous time hiking through the majestic Angel Rocks, over the ridges in the Chena River State Recreational Park, and down into the hot springs. Take a look at the pictures, to see why the day was Golden!

8-10 July 2001, Boundary Trail Backpack. Larry Hall is a major advocate of having the borough develop the Boundary Trail along its east edge. Besides some spectacular scenery, the group had to devise some rather clever ways of dealing with conditions!

Summer 2001: Lew's Ongoing Pacific Crest Trail Odyssey. Lew Apgar, president of FAHC, is on a summer-long hike of the Pacific Crest Trail that stretches from Mexico to Canada. Check this page regularly for updates and (eventually) some pictures.

September 2000, Kesugi Ridge near Denali Park. These are some pictures of the FAHC trip to Kesugi Ridge (27 mi.) in mid Sept. 2000. Denali (20,320 ft.) is about 35 miles from the ridge. The group had to deal with several inches of snow at about the 3,500' elev. level, but enjoyed clear weather and spectacular views for the 3 day trip.

24-27 August 2000, Wonder Lake, Denali National Park. With Wonder Lake as our base camp, we had four magical days in the Park. Click here for a description and pictures, but be warned: it's a big page with lots of pictures, so may take some time to download.

12-13 August 2000, Gulkana Glacier Hike. While it was downpouring in Fairbanks, it was overcast but nice weather in the valley. Five people set out for the hike and the suspension bridge didn't hold anyone back. We hiked on a nice gradual slope up the valley. Rita made her's more of a workout by hiking up or down the side slopes as well as advancing. We made a small detour to look at the USGS stream gaging station on Phelan Creek, but it was still less than 2 hours to the base of the glacier. Only one person braved the chill wind to walk up to the first ridge of the glacier. After a short lunch, we headed back down. The most noticeable things in the valley were the lack of wildlife, how small the few plants were, and the numerous types of rocks (smooth in the valley, but sharp edged on the glacier). The suspension bridge was more fun on the return as people tried small bounces on it, making it more difficult to walk. Then it was time for one person to head back for North Pole, while the rest of us camped out at Fielding Lake. The fish weren't biting but the mosquitoes were, so everyone was invited into the Gillitzer's RV for fine dining and cut-throat card games. Sunday morning brought a lazy morning over coffee before caravaning down the road. As a special treat, we stopped at Upper Suzy Q Creek and hiked up Ruby Creek to install stream gage pipes at various sites. Three cheers to Rita and Dennis for wanting to learn a little field hydrology. Extra cheers to Matt and Dennis for each carrying 60 lbs of concrete up Ruby Creek!

12 January 2000, General Membership meeting: This meeting only had 7 people. (The -50 might not have helped!) Dawn Jeffress, nurse from Randy Smith Middle School came and talked about what to pack on a hiking trip and ideas were informally shared, including medications for rock climbing and back country emergencies. Lew talked about a snowshoe day hike from his house on Goldstream on the 16th of January. He also talked about planning 2 trail maintenance trips this summer, including one on the Summit Trail, in conjunction with BLM. He's looking for grant writers to help get trail maintenance funding. Meetings are still the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7:30 at the BLM building off University Ave., by Airport Rd

13-14 November 1999, Granite Tors Winter Hike: Five people went on the winter overnight to Granite Tors. Things slowed down quite a bit a little past mile four when we had to start breaking trail. As it got darker we realized we were not going to make the shelter before dark and decided to go back and camp near mile 5. We all shared the one working stove and everyone turned in early to avoid the windy night. Everyone stayed warm and enjoyed the trip.The return trip was much quicker, with only a few sections where the trail had drifted in with snow. By 2 P.M., everyone was back into their cars and headed for town. ps.? Does anyone know what the two large abandoned nests are from on the way up the clockwise route?

15 August 1999: Inaugural Hike, Birch Hill. Julie Coghill is a prolific digital photographer and Web designer here in Fairbanks. She has put together a page with pictures and text.

Lew reports that only he and Wendy made the August 1999 Angel Rocks hike, but they had a great time. They ended up doing eight miles instead of the planned four. Ten people came out for the Creamer's Field hike. He recommends that you stop by to see the birds while they're still in town. The Summit Trail overnighter was great, with five people showing up on an overcast Saturday. The weather was GREAT on Sunday, with autumn colors struttin' their stuff.